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Why The Biggest Loser Contestants Gain All Their Weight Back

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The Biggest Loser Contestants Are Set Up To Fail

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing 3 reasons why the biggest loser contestants gain all their weight back, and are set up to fail at Living Lean.

In the past, I had a TV producer approach me to pitch concepts for a fitness TV show.

Unfortunately, the concept of teaching people how to Live Lean 365 days a year was just not “wow worthy” enough.

Trust me, I get.

Before my fitness career began, I worked in advertising for 8 years.

So I understand the need for the “shock factor”. 

Based on the ratings, The Biggest Loser TV show obviously has that.

Sure the show may be motivating for some viewers, and it does help contestants lose weight.

But does The Biggest Loser TV show actually teach contestants, and viewers, how to Live Lean?

Before answering this, you may be asking, “what does it mean to Live Lean?”.

What Does It Mean To Live Lean?

If you’re new to my Live Lean Transformation 1,000,000 Mission, it’s simple.

Live Lean Transformation 1,000,000 Mission

I’m on a mission to educate, motivate, and inspire 1,000,000 people to Live Lean 365 days a year, by focusing on eating real food and moving their bodies more effectively.

In other words, helping people unlock the confidence to walk on the beach, in their favorite swimsuit, any day of the year. 

To date, my Live Lean TV YouTube show has been viewed close to 50 million times, by “Live Leaners” all over the world.

Every viewer of Live Lean TV is on a mission to create lifestyle habits to maintain an energetic, strong, and lean body. 

Based on this, does the Biggest Loser TV show help the contestants learn these lifestyle habits to maintain their weight loss, and Live Lean 365 days a year after the cameras are turned off?

Maybe for some, but based on the outcomes, probably not for the majority of the Biggest Loser contestants. 

Do I Disagree With The Approach The Biggest Loser’s Fitness Trainers Take?



Because that’s what The Biggest Loser TV show is about.

It’s not a TV show competition to create the healthiest contestant or teach them how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, 365 days a year.

It’s a TV show competition to see who can lose the weight the fastest. 

Before I get into why the biggest loser contestants gain all their weight back, I want to first congratulate The Biggest Loser 15 winner, Rachel Frederickson.

Congratulations to The Biggest Loser 15 winner, Rachel Frederickson

Let’s take a quick look at Rachel’s weight loss accomplishments.

Rachel started the show weighing in at 260 lbs.

After 7.5 months, she ended the show weighing in at 105 lbs.

This means Rachel lost 155 lbs, which is 60% of her weight, in just 30 weeks.

This is an average of over 5 lbs of weight loss per week.

The weight loss standards for a typical weight loss program is 2 lbs per week.

This means Rachel lost 250% more weight on average per week, then a typical weight loss program.

How Much Did Rachel Frederickson Workout On The Biggest Loser?

To lose all this weight, Rachel said she worked out 6 hours a day, for 3 months, while maintaining an intake of 1,600 calories, before the finale.

Even her trainer, Dolvett Quince, was “shocked” by her appearance, and was quoted as saying:

“The first thing that went through my mind was, that’s just too much.” – Dolvett Quince

At the time of writing this blog, there’s talk that the producers of The Biggest Loser TV show may be tweaking the show to not allow such a drastic change, in such a short period.

That should be interesting.

Based on this extreme weight loss, I really hope Rachel is now up to the challenge of Living Lean.

However, the reason for this video post is not to be negative towards Rachel Frederickson or The Biggest Loser TV show.

The reason of this post it to address why such a large percentage of The Biggest Loser contestants put the weight back on after the show.

Why The Biggest Loser Contestants Gain All Their Weight Back

Here are 3 reasons why The Biggest Loser contestants, and you, are set up to fail at Living Lean.

Reason #1: Lack Of Calories

the biggest loser

We all know the calories in vs. calories out equation for short-term weight loss. 

You know I’m a big believer that you need to eat enough calories to Live Lean. 

How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?

When you don’t eat enough calories over the long-term, your body ends up entering survival and starvation mode.

Survival mode simply means your body holds onto stored fat and burns your lean muscle for energy.

Hopefully by now, I’ve beaten the concept that muscle is the driver of your metabolism. 

Based on this, you should be doing everything you can to build and preserve lean muscle tissue for long-term health. 

If your body’s burning your muscle, your metabolism will come to a crashing halt.

Not to mention, no one can live off that low of a calorie intake for long.

So inevitably the contestants go back to their old ways of eating, after the TV show is over.


Real food should be a positive experience. It’s your friend. It’s not your foe.

In my opinion, The Biggest Loser contestants are probably developing a very poor relationship with food.

Reason #2: Too Much Exercise

As mentioned earlier, it sounds like some contestants on The Biggest Loser are working out for up to 6 hours a day, while on the show.

Now I’m a workout junkie, but even I think I’d develop a hatred for exercise if I was forced to workout 6 hours a day

Working out to me, is like brushing my teeth.

It’s just something I do without even thinking about it.

This healthy approach to working out leads to an overall positive connection to exercise.

Once again, the training techniques used on The Biggest Loser TV show seem to be creating another negative connection, with what should be a positive habit.

Reason #3: The Show Didn’t Create Positive Habits For The Contestants

I already touched on this, habits.

Food and working out should be a positive experience. 

I’m not sure The Biggest Loser contestants are truly falling in love with the natural high from a good workout or the satiating feeling of eating whole foods that fuels the cells in our body with energy.

Changing your mindset and behaviors will eventually create positive habits.

Habits are everything when it comes to Living Lean. 

I promise, you will fall in love with the Live Lean journey once you figure out what your “why” is.

Ask yourself, why is losing weight important to you?

This will change your mindset from trying to lose weight fast, to creating a healthy long-term lifestyle and relationship with working out and food. 

Living Lean is a marathon, not a race. 

As cliche as it may sound, anything worthwhile takes time. 

Bottom Line On Why The Biggest Loser Contestants Gain All Their Weight Back

The Biggest Loser TV show helps contestants lose weight fast.

That’s the point of the show.

If seeing those dramatic weight loss stories motivates you to take action on your journey and maintain it as a lifestyle, perfect.

But if The Biggest Loser TV show is setting you up with unrealistic expectations in your mind, and making you develop negative relationships with food and working out, then it’s time to turn off your TV and turn on YouTube.

I hear there’s a decent show on YouTube called Live Lean TV 😂.

Shameless plug, I know.

Change your mindset and behaviors, and eventually you will form healthy long-term habits to help you Live Lean 365 days a year.

If an ordinary dude like me can do it, there’s no reason that you can’t either.

Keep Living Lean!


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz


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Question Of The Day:

  • What are your thoughts are on The Biggest Loser TV show?
  • Do you watch it?
  • Does it motivate you to Live Lean by eating real food and moving your body?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

Check out our free workout videos here.

Check out my free recipe cooking videos here.

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18 responses to “Why The Biggest Loser Contestants Gain All Their Weight Back

  1. You’re basically my favorite person on Youtube right now 😛 I was diagnosed
    with bipolar II last year (I was also misdiagnosed with major depressive
    disorder and anxiety before then) and it ticks me off when people say stuff
    like “isn’t that just mood swings?” or whatever….if only they knew that
    left untreated it basically ruins every aspect of your life and makes you
    lose your friends, hobbies, grades, EVERYTHING :/ So rant on!

  2. You were in advertising for 8 years???? What age were you started doing
    that, 12? :-O I’d love a Live Lean TV Show.. Boooo to them for saying no!

  3. I watch and love Biggest Loser because it reminds me that I have little excuse not to improve my health. I am fortunate because I am not as heavy as most of contestants so they probably wouldn’t consider me shock worthy. Although the show is entertaining I am actually hooked on the information I get from your channel. I don’t need shock as much as I need practical advice on a variety of topics that interest me. Keep up the great work or should I say “Damn, that’s good!”

  4. Exercising, and Eating Clean are Important but Often Over Looked is
    Changing your Mental Outlook and or Dealing with the Mental Issues. People
    don’t get the this is a Lifestyle Change !!!!!!! Not a Quick Fix because
    like You Said, if they don’t make this a Habit they will go back to the
    Easy UnHealthy Lives !!!!!!!

  5. See that’s the problem. The guy you made your pitch to assumes everybody
    wants a show with “shock factor.” In the meantime, people like me who want
    shows with good content, not glitz, are getting short changed – that’s why
    I don’t watch much tv. When you get your show, please keep it real – no
    fake reality.

  6. Hi Brad I have a question it is true that in order to lose weight I must do
    weights? Because I don’t like machines I enjoy zumba and combat stile
    fitness classes. Thank you.

  7. 3 Reasons The Biggest Loser Contestants & YOU Are Set Up To FAIL. Do you
    watch The Biggest Loser…what are your thoughts about it?

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